AutoCorrect can be so, so useful …
Autocorrect is a really cool function of Microsoft Word, Outlook etc. It fixes our typos automatically and we can use our own acronyms for common phrases, or complex names and symbols. It’s cool. BUT, and yes, it’s a big BUT, AutoCorrect is a diabolical pain in the neck to manage with Microsoft Word.
Word’s AutoCorrect management screen only lets you see seven items at a time out of a list of over 900! You can’t print the list. You can’t easily inspect the 900, or your personal additions. You have to fly blind.
And if that isn’t enough, once you’ve got them all right, if you use more than one language you have to do it all again for each language, including each variation of English you use (UK, US, Australian etc).
Then there is moving AutoCorrect between computers and getting your colleagues all set up with the same AutoCorrect lists – it is doable, but how about keeping them in synch? Not easy.
When some colleagues and I were asked to help an organisation out with common AutoCorrect lists for all staff we were sure there would be something out there that would do the job easily. But Google only lead us to a better understanding of the problem, not to a solution. So we decided to see if we could solve the problem, and we did, we made The AutoCorrect Manager!
The AutoCorrect Manager – easily manage AutoCorrect in Microsoft Office.
- Keep your own personal AutoCorrect master list and merge it into Word’s AutoCorrect as required.
- Keep your AutoCorrect master lists in multiple Word documents (print them for reference or tape them beside your screen)
- Have as many AutoCorrect lists as you like – company, team, personal, AutoCorrect for different languages. You can even create AutoCorrect acronyms for a project and remove them when the project is over!
- Use the Master Lists to replace or delete annoying AutoCorrects – here in Australia organisations that deal with companies a lot frequently refer to the company number, the ACN, but by default Word automatically corrects “acn” to “can”. Simply setting “acn” to always come out as “ACN” in a Master List solves the problem.
- Extract the entire AutoCorrect list for a language into a Word document, update that document, and then automatically merge it back into your AutoCorrect.
- Manage AutoCorrect for as many languages as you need, even the English variants (US, UK, Australian …)
- Note, unless you are American you may well find spelling mistakes in Microsoft’s AutoCorrect lists for other English variants. You don’t notice them unless you can see them all in a Word document, but with the AutoCorrect Manager you can easily fix them!
- Your computer people can create master files (master “acl” files) for each language and put them on everybody’s computer. Users can then add their personal (or team) AutoCorrect.
How does it work?
- The AutoCorrect Manager is a Word document. Download it to your computer, open it, and the AutoCorrect Manager runs.
Master AutoCorrect lists are Word documents with a two column table of AutoCorrect that you create Looking like this:
You can have as many master lists as you want. You can even use the AutoCorrect Manager to put all the 900+ AutoCorrects for a language into a Word document, and then use that list as a master list to update your AutoCorrect!
Adding (or removing) AutoCorrect: From the AutoCorrect Manager select the master list document and language to use, then click on “Merge AutoCorrect” (or “Delete AutoCorrect” to remove them). So simple!
It works for all versions of Word from 2002 onwards (2002, 2003, 2007, and 2010, 2013).